"Edmund Wilson ... comes brilliantly to life in this wide-ranging collection of essays.... Not only do we get acute explorations of Wilson's criticism but incisive pieces on his other writing."--George Core, editor, The Sewanee ReviewEdmund Wilson, who helped shape American literary culture from the early 1920s through the mid-'60s, is still a presence a century after his birth. This vibrant collection emerges from symposiums in Wilson's centenary year, 1995, at the Mercantile Library in New York and at Princeton University. There prominent critics, literary journalists, and historians aired a variety of points of view about Wilson's work and the man. Assembled and edited by Lewis Dabney, the book shows the intellectual voices of a younger generation interacting with veterans who knew Wilson and his times.In the first part, Morris Dickstein, Jason Epstein, Barbara Epstein, David Bromwich, Jed Perl, and Mark Krupnick comment on Wilson's premises as a critic: his faith in reason, his version of modernism and eclectic interest in the arts, and his interest in Judaism--as a Protestant of Puritan stock who rejected Christianity. In the second part, a reading of the posthumously published journals by Neale Reinitz and a chapter from Dabney's biography-in-progress lead to the reminiscences of Elizabeth Hardwick, Jason Epstein, Mary Meigs, Roger Straus, and Alfred Kazin, as well as Michael C. D. Macdonald, the son of family friends, and the Dead Sea Scrolls scholar James A. Sanders. Two of Wilson's important works, his study of the Marxist intellectual tradition in To the Finland Station and of Civil War literature in Patriotic Gore, anchor discussion in the third part, which includes David Remnick, Daniel Aaron, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Randall Kennedy, and Andrew Delbanco joined from the floor by Toni Morrison and others. In the last part of the book, Louis Menand and Paul Berman offer divergent but complimentary approaches to the subject of Wilson in his historical moment and in ours. A discerning afterword by Sean Wilentz rounds out the volume.